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JULY 2021: Business Intelligence Consultants: What Do They Do?

Publication date: 6 July 2021

A Business Intelligence Consultant, also known as a BI Consultant, is in charge of enhancing a company’s internal operations through consulting and data-related activities to gain a competitive advantage. Those activities might be related to data analytics, planning, warehousing, etc.

But, what exactly does a BI Consultant do, and what are some of the day-to-day things associated with this job? Let’s take a look.

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What does BI consulting entail?

A BI consultant’s role is to use all available technology to assist the company in extracting, refining, and preparing data from various sources (internal and external) that may be relevant to their decision-making.

As a BI specialist, they are in charge of improving organizational processes based on this data by forecasting future events and developments. A BI consultant is essential for a company’s planning, strategic, and analytical decisions. New lines of business may be planned, expenditures can be reduced, and corporate growth can be enhanced with the help of BI consulting.

What skills does a BI consultant need to have?

A BI consultant must look at all things from a business perspective, first and foremost; in other words, they must understand the available data to select the most relevant information and use it to the company’s advantage.

On a technical level, skills like SQL, database management, expertise with BI tools like Jedox, Qlik, and TimeXtender; big data, and data mining skills are desirable. Finally, programming skills can aid in the extraction of rules from data.

What does a BI consultant do on a day-to-day basis?

A business intelligence consultant has various interesting tasks that are performed daily. Some of them include:

  • Reviewing and validating the collected data
  • Monitoring data storage
  • Documenting work processes
  • Developing policies and procedures for data collection and analysis
  • Creating or identifying new data collection and processing programs (ETL)
  • Working with the IT team to develop software to exploit databases
  • Creating models that analyze the behavior of critical sectors
  • Monitoring analysis results and metrics
  • Implementing new data analysis methodologies
  • Reporting with data analysis

In order to be able to carry out all these tasks quickly and efficiently, BI consultants rely on tools for assistance. They also often work hand-in-hand with clients, which makes them the backbone of any BI consulting business.

Popular BI tools and systems

There are numerous tools a BI consultant can use. First and foremost, they need to find a tool that will make researching data sets easier. Some rely on a free, open-source tool called R, which statisticians frequently use. Another popular tool for data analysis is SPSS, which is more user-friendly, more powerful, but also more expensive.

Business consultants also rely on visualization tools such as Tableau and QlikView. Tableau has become almost synonymous with data visualization and analysis. This fantastic tool is known for its simplicity and power. If you already have data that has been reviewed, cleansed, and is ready to be analyzed, you can enter it into Tableau and get results practically instantly.

QlikView is very similar to Tableau in the sense that it is also used for data visualization. However, QlikView also has an integrated BI platform and comes bundled with demos, training manuals, and many tutorials, which will help you understand some of the more advanced functions quickly. However, it isn’t as intuitive as Tableau at first.

Other tools that can come in handy are:

  • Qlik
  • QlikSense
  • Oracle BI
  • SAP Business Intelligence
  • Microsoft Power BI
  • IBM Cognos Analytics
  • Pentaho

The Value of BI Consulting for Growing Businesses

Business intelligence is a technology-driven process used for gathering, analyzing, and visualizing data in a way that is easy to comprehend. Business intelligence focuses on the big picture — monitoring internal and external processes, and predicting possible outcomes and consequences. 

Collecting and analyzing data is now easier than ever, thanks to the myriad of tools that make data analysis and visualization for any-size business a straightforward process.

Want to take your Business Intelligence Consulting career to the next level? Check out our Consulting vacancies and send us a message. Our teams in Germany, Switzerland, and South Africa are always welcome to a new spark by fresh colleagues. Good luck!

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